|St. Bernadette Soubirous|
(Public Domain photo)
Born in Lourdes, France, in 1844, Bernadette was often sick as a child and didn’t get much schooling. She hadn’t even made her First Holy Communion yet when she was 14 years old. That's when the Blessed Mother appeared to her in a cave, and they prayed the Rosary together. Bernadette would meet Our Lady in the same spot 18 times altogether. During one of these visits, the Lord’s mother asked her to dig and a spring opened up. But the most important thing that happened was that the Blessed Mother identified herself to Bernadette as the “Immaculate Conception.” This confirmed what the pope had said some years earlier. Bernadette unfortunately became quite famous – and not everybody loved her or believed her. She eventually joined a convent, where she wasn’t treated very well at first, and she suffered great pain in her final illness, but she did her chores cheerfully and prayed sincerely.
We live in a world where most people don’t think about God or heaven or anything of the sort. It can be really intimidating to testify publicly to what we believe in. Bernadette was shy and quiet – she didn’t want any attention for herself, but she willingly told her story so that people would know how generous God is and how willingly the Holy Mother will pray for each of us. Today, pray to Our Lady of Lourdes and ask for what you need to be a faithful witness for Christ.